Case details

Bicyclist caused crash by riding against traffic, defense claimed





Result type

Not present

fracture, knee, tibial plateau
At approximately 12:56 p.m. on Jan. 31, 2011, plaintiff Steve McClenon, a fabrication shop owner in his 50s, was riding his bicycle east in a 19-foot wide shoulder on Ox Yoke Road in Anderson, against the direction of traffic, when a truck broadsided him. The driver of the truck, Norman Nystrom, was in the process of making a right turn from a private driveway on the north side of Ox Yoke Road at the time of the accident. McClenon was thrown of his bicycle and claimed an injury to his left knee. McClenon sued Nystrom. He alleged the defendant was negligent in the operation of his vehicle, in that Nystrom had a duty to yield to him. McClenon’s counsel contended that Nystrom was negligent for looking to his left, but not to his right, before attempting to turn onto Ox Yoke Road. He also contended that Nystrom was negligent for attempting to enter the highway without yielding to traffic, which included McClenon. Counsel further claimed that McClenon was justified in riding his bicycle against the flow of traffic, as that was the side with an ample shoulder to travel on. He noted that the opposite shoulder was very narrow and would have been dangerous to operate a bicycle on due to the heavy flow of truck traffic on eastbound Ox Yoke Road. Defense counsel contended that Nystrom was not negligent, and that McClenon gave up his right of way by negligently riding his bicycle against the flow of traffic and causing the accident., McClenon was taken from the scene of the accident by ambulance and brought to an emergency room. He sustained a fracture to his left tibial plateau, for which he underwent open reduction and internal fixation with the insertion of pins within three weeks of the accident. McClenon then followed up with eight weeks of physical therapy. McClenon claimed that he still experiences pain, discomfort and reduced range of motion in his left knee. Thus, he claimed that he will eventually require a full knee replacement. He also claimed he missed work during his recovery and is now limited in his abilities due to his knee injury. In addition, McClenon claimed that he is now limited in his bicycle riding. Thus, McClenon claimed $50,000 in past medical costs, of which $28,000 was paid. He also sought recovery of damages, including up to $85,950 for future medical costs, $17,000 for past loss of earnings, and $150,000 for his past and future pain and suffering. Defense counsel did not dispute the severity of McClenon’s injury, but argued that any sustained were caused by McClenon’s own negligence.
Superior Court of Shasta County, Redding, CA

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